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Loooong Time to Create HTML pages


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#21 Jack

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:49 PM

Renee, I'm still looking for a definition of those Chrome glitches you wrote about!
Jack

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#22 TomH

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:15 PM

Renee, I'm still looking for a definition of those Chrome glitches you wrote about!

So far, I've observed the following problems:

  • Chrome is my default browser. RM requires me to close it and let it reopen Chrome with special settings in order to "Preview this website in my browser" from the local drive. That's a pain, especially if I lose where I'm at on some other website. Apparently, it's a security issue with Chrome that requires that it be launched afresh with the switch "--allow-file-access-from-files" which raises some risk.

I think your problem is with viewing the website on your local drive. If you publish it on a http server, all the browsers should display the pages. The issue is the security measures designed into the browsers to prevent the reading of files from a local drive. That's why, if Chrome is your default browser, RM asks you to close all instances of Chrome so that it can open Chrome afresh with a special switch to enable reading of the local drive. That said, I did not have a problem with either IE9 or Firefox accessing th local website.

To get your local website to view using Chrome you need to close all Chrome windows first. After you have uploaded your files online then you have no problem viewing in Chrome.


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> Rmtrix_tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#23 alansogd

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:55 PM

Hey Jack-

I created the Publish Online sites. I'll try to explain how they are organized. It may seem ridiculous, but there is a method to my madness :)

All of the HTML files, CSS files, JS files, etc, are static. They will be the same for everybody's site. The only exception is the index page, which RootsMagic creates. RootsMagic generates XML files for your data that the Javascript on the page can request and parse.

The reason we chose to do it this way was to avoid requiring any server-side language configuration (e.g., PHP), while still allowing dynamic features, such as searching on the name index page. Since all of the code is Javascript on the client side, a user can drop the site on any web host without having to worry about whether or not the site will be supported. This also allows us to host my.rootsmagic.com on an Amazon S3 file server (as opposed to a full-blown web server with server-side scripting) at a reduced cost -- that's why we can offer free hosting. Plus, it will work from a CD or hard drive (with some caveats).

There are a few big downsides to this. The first obvious one is that Javascript has to request a whole file, whereas a server-side language can just make a database query. So we have to break up the data into thousands of small individual xml files to make requests fast.

The second downside -- and one we're in the process of addressing -- is that Google and other search engines can't index our sites because they are dynamically generated on the client side.

Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that the very slow creation and processing time are downsides as well. You upload your site as a zip, but then the web service has to unzip it and move the files one-by-one to Amazon S3. It's a huge bottleneck, but part of the price involved in trying to make the service affordable.

So back to the caveats I mentioned earlier: The Publish Online sites will work from a hard drive or CD, but there's a problem. Several browsers have security features for local pages that they don't have for standard websites. One of these is that they can't request external files. The problem is clear: you don't want a local file viewed in a browser to be able to discreetly request other files on your machine and send the information to a third party. But the RM websites need to be able to request their XML files in order to work properly.

In Firefox, the sites will work fine from the local disk. They have some safety protocols, but our sites play by the rules, so there are no issues. In IE8, 9 and 10, you'll get an ActiveX warning. If you allow it, the site should work just fine. If it's not, send me a private message and we'll talk about it, because it ought to be working.

Chrome is a little more cranky with its safety measures. You need to run it from the command line with the flag "--allow-file-access-from-files". This will grant the site permission to request XML files and display your data. RootsMagic can do this for you automatically, but all Chrome windows need to be closed when you do it so it can be started with the proper flags.

I assure you that we are aware of the issues with the Publish Online service, and that the way we chose to implement it was not random nor haphazard. This is the first online service of such scope that we have offered, and there are still wrinkles to be ironed out. That's why the old HTML generator is still available. If you find that the older generator better suits what you are trying to do, then by all means, use that one. Eventually the new Publish Online sites will always be the best choice, but we're not there yet.

#24 Jack

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:56 AM

Hey Jack-

I created the Publish Online sites. I'll try to explain how they are organized. It may seem ridiculous, but there is a method to my madness :)


Thank you for the explanation, Alan.

I do genealogy research and have no time to learn more of the intricacies involved with using my computers than how to turn them on, find my work, do some work and turn them off. And yes, I do know where to have them repaired should they break. Anything else takes away from my research efforts and, to me, is a waste of my research time.

I cannot take the risk of sending any of my work to someone on a DVD and then having to work for hours with them getting it to run in whichever browser they choose to use.

I only use Chrome and occasionally IE10 when "forced" to. The RM Publish Online files do not open on my computer in IE10 and, I get no warning about Active X. Dbl clicking on the index.html file has no affect; e.g., it does nothing but sit there.

This may be incorrect and an over-reach on my part but, It seems to me that much of the work to create a file system such as Publish Online is a RM attempt to protect user privacy. But, is it necessary!? There are not a lot, if any, reports anywhere of genealogy info being used for criminal activity. If that were in fact a problem then FamilySearch.org would have more security on the family files they produce for the world to read! I often wonder what a snoop would find out about me, or anyone in my family by reading information typically found in a genealogical report I create!? Anyone really foolish enough to put their personal family info into such on-line files is only asking for trouble. I would hope that RM users are not that sublime. And, if we are really doing that for other people, should we do so without their permission?!

So, although it takes nearly a full day to create the HTML files, I will accept your suggestion to continue using them for my work.

Please let us users know when, and if, you can make it simple enough for all of us to use the Publish Online pages without having to jump through browser hoops.

My questions here are rhetorical; used mostly for trying to make a point. I have probably failed in that respect.
Jack

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#25 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:03 AM

If you find that the older generator better suits what you are trying to do, then by all means, use that one. Eventually the new Publish Online sites will always be the best choice, but we're not there yet.


I very much appreciate the explanation and I'm pleased that the Google problem is being addressed. But nevertheless I do have to rise to speak in favor of the older HTML generator.

I find Web pages produced by the older HTML generator to be much better than the new Publish Online pages. My concern is that with the older Web pages having been deprecated, they will be withdrawn from service before the new Publish Online pages are up to the standards of the older generator. Two items of particular concern to me are that the Publish Online pages do not include any of the narrative book options that are available with the HTML pages, and that the Publish Online pages are much too clicky. So I find it hard to see that eventually the Publish Online sites will always be the best choice.

Jerry

#26 Jack

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:30 AM

So I find it hard to see that eventually the Publish Online sites will always be the best choice.
Jerry


Jerry,

My guess is it will likely be RM v8.0 before anything useful comes out of Publish Online.

I have a feeling we're being used as beta testers.

Jack
Jack

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#27 Don Newcomb

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:32 AM

If you want to judge the true speed of generating the websites you need to increase the priority level in the task manager. You've been changing the priority to low and that very much so can effect how long it's taking to create the files.

My suggestion to reduce the process priority was not intended to speed up website creation, rather to allow continued normal use of the computer while the website was being created. In my case, running RootsMagic at normal priority while creating a website slows down everything on the PC. For instance, I couldn't really be typing this right now, while rebuilding my website, as I am currently doing. Lowering the priority makes website creation seem faster because you aren't effectively locked out of your computer while it's happening.

#28 Jack

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:49 AM

My suggestion to reduce the process priority was not intended to speed up website creation, rather to allow continued normal use of the computer while the website was being created. In my case, running RootsMagic at normal priority while creating a website slows down everything on the PC. For instance, I couldn't really be typing this right now, while rebuilding my website, as I am currently doing. Lowering the priority makes website creation seem faster because you aren't effectively locked out of your computer while it's happening.


I generally start a website in the evening and let it run overnight. Sometimes, It's still running when I get up the next morning.
Jack

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#29 fredandrana

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

Just for comparison purposes...


150210 people
58714 families
364362 events
90404 places
187 sources
2479 citations
1187 multimedia items
1553 mutimedia links

takes about 4 hours to Publish Online, on a ten year old computer running Windows XP, 3.2 GB processor, and 2GB RAM. I believe it is the media that makes it take so long, and I resize some of my media when it is feasible. It takes FOREVER to resize all the media into the three sizes needed, but I understand that doing it that way greatly increases web page loading when viewing the site.

I had no problems viewing my pages with Chrome. Are you trying to view a whole complete website, or are you trying to just view the HTML and CSS?

#30 Jack

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

Probably is multi-media.

I was attempting with Publish Online to do what I do when I create HTML files...view the completed website in my browser before burning the pages to DVD data disk. If I can't view them then neither can the folks I send the finished DVD to.
Jack

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#31 TomH

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:15 AM

If you are sending a DVD, then why create a website, either with Create HTML or Publish Online? Why not create a Shareable CD? Of course, they must use Windows to use the latter but it is a lot closer to your original database and more complete than either of the web-targeted outputs.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> Rmtrix_tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#32 Jack

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

If you are sending a DVD, then why create a website, either with Create HTML or Publish Online? Why not create a Shareable CD? Of course, they must use Windows to use the latter but it is a lot closer to your original database and more complete than either of the web-targeted outputs.


Because I don't want to. See beginning of this topic.
Jack

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#33 TomH

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:21 AM

Why don't you want to send them a Shareable CD from RootsMagic? Why send them a website on a disc instead? There is nothing that answered my question in this thread - I checked before I posted and I checked the beginning again, just now.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> Rmtrix_tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#34 Jack

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 01:41 PM

I believe near the beginning I said I didn't want to use the Shareable CD option. I repeated it again just above. Sorry if "because I don't want to" is not a good enough reason. There are two of three options that I prefer and the shareable CD is not one of them. I thought the new Publish Online might be superior to HTML but so far it hasn't yet shown worthy of primetime and HTML takes an unreasonable amount of time, 10 to 12 hours to compile depending on which of my two db's I choose. The people that I share my data with are comfortable with HTML, as I am.

RM has gotten to be very proprietary - which I'm sure is good for business - therefore exporting a GEDCOM for use with some third party utility to compile webpages omits a lot of "stuff."
Jack

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